Have you ever noticed how the weather likes to viciously taunt us when the spring and fall seasons approach?
When it’s still cool and dreary in April, Mother Nature teases us with a short week of pure summer temperatures and sunny kisses to announce that la belle saison is coming soon and that we can look forward to basking in its warm joyful sunrays.
And then back to rain and gray. Just a tease!
The same thing happens at the beginning of September.
We just had a week of rain and 60 degree °F (15 °C) temperatures to make us realize that not only summer is almost done but we should really be thinking about the fall.
And then, back to 80 °F (27 °C) at the end of the week. Remember to continue to enjoy the last days of summer. Agonizing!
I woke up this morning with the nice exciting surprise to have been nominated by several readers for Best Food Blogger of 2011 on FriendsEat. I am including the badge to take you directly to their page so you cast your vote.
You can only vote once and polls close on September 23 at 5:00pm EST.
Click the badge to start voting!!
The nomination is a wonderful treat to end a busy and fulfilling summer. I am terribly flattered to be included in the same list as other wonderful and inspirational food bloggers.
Un grand merci to all of you readers!
So this is a farewell to summer post – celebrating warm months and the nomination.
Weighed down by the amount of tomatoes and basil from the community garden, something had to be done to make good use of the soon-to-be last harvests of the summer.
And if someone says pesto or tomato sauce again, I will make a French face no one has ever seen before. And it won’t be pretty.
The freezer is full of pesto and tomato sauce. Can’t. Take. Any. More.
I was craving something unusual, colorful, different and tasty.
Something that would combine vegetables, herbs and fruits.
Something that would remind me of summer and picnics on the beach.
Something that would take me back in front of a deep blue sea – or wade in a lake, sleep without covers, drive with the windows down, have dinner with friends outside, go smell ripe fruits at the farmers’ market, have a glass of rosé on the front porch, plant a garden, or simply stay home and read next to an open window while kids are playing outside and the cats lazily warm their bones in the hot sun.
Yes all of that, please!
So while discussing flavor combinations with recent guests, the idea of a crumble and sorbet was born.
Served together – a perfect dessert. Warm and cold. Sweet, acidic and sour. Unusual yet familiar. Appetizing for the eyes.
I need to credit Pascal Lacroix for the idea of combining tomatoes and mangoes as well as lime and basil during his recent visit.
Tomato Mango Crumble:
1 lb (500 g) of red cherry tomatoes
1 organic lemon
1 stick + 1 Tbsp (130 g) of butter
1 cup (100 g) of flour
4 Tbsp (50 g) of sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 410 °F (210 °C).
Boil water in a deep sauce pan and drop the cherry tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds. Place them under cold water right after.
Peel the skin off of the tomatoes. Cut them in half and discard as many seeds as you can.
(I find it easier to cut them in half first. The skin peels right off when you squeeze them. Remove seeds then)
Peel and cut the mango. Discard the pit and slice the mango in cubes.
Zest half the lemon. Juice the whole lemon when done zesting.
In a heavy saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp (20 g) of butter. When hot and bubbly, drop the tomatoes, mango cubes lemon zest and lemon juice in the pan. Sprinkle the sugar on top.
Coat the tomatoes and mangoes with the sugar. Mix well but delicately. Cook and let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, use 1/2 Tbsp (10 g) of butter to grease an oven proof pan. You can decide to use 1 big pan or make several individual crumbles by greasing small gratin or crème brûlée dishes.
Combine the flour and the brown sugar in a big bowl. Cut the rest of the butter in small cubes and drop them in the flour-sugar mixture. Work the butter with your fingers so you end up with a coarse chunky rough crumble mixture.
Spoon out the fruits into the pan(s) discarding some of the juices and leaving them in the saucepan.
Cover the fruits with the crumble mixture and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The top should be golden and the sides bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before eating.
Lime Basil Sorbet (adapted from MyRecipes.com):
1 1/2 cup (290 g) of sugar
2 cups (475 ml) of lime juice (13-15 limes)
1/2 cup (125 ml) of blue agave sweetner
2-3 cups of basil leaves – the more the better
2 cups (475 ml) of water
1 tbsp of lime zest
2-3 Tbsp of vodka – to keep the sorbet smooth
In a saucepan, cook the sugar, 1 cup of juice and the agave sweetner over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped basil leaves. Add as much basil as you have/can. Cook for 30 seconds.
Pour into a bowl and add the remaining 1 cup of juice, the water and the lime zest.
Chill in the fridge overnight.
Strain the mixture to discard the wilted basil leaves. Add the vodka and pour the mixture in an ice cream maker. Process until frozen depending on the machine and manufacturer.
Put the sorbet in a container and freeze. Make the sorbet 1 day ahead if possible before serving.
Enjoy the last days of summer! And remember to vote!!